The Prowler had reported last week that Lockhart was one of a handful of former Clinton advisers looking to jump aboard the listing campaign as advisers. But Kerry himself late Monday night decided that Lockhart’s communications skills and relationships with the national press were too critical to keep off to the side.
“Lockhart’s elevation is the first sign that Kerry is trying to fix whatever isn’t quite right with his campaign,” says a Democratic political strategist in New York, who is no longer doing work for the Kerry campaign. “He doesn’t solve all the problems, but it’s not like there are a lot of people Kerry can bring on. Everyone who is anyone is working on this campaign. There is no bench for Kerry to draw on. I think he needs to toss a few bodies overboard.”
Lockhart will no doubt be taking a more visible role in the campaign, perhaps replacing Tad Devine, who has been serving as one of the most visible faces for the campaign on TV, but who is thought by some Kerry advisers to be too grating and aggressive for television audiences. How a pitbull scowler like Lockhart might be an improvement isn’t clear.
Lockhart has apparently already shaken up the Kerry communications shop, installing former Clinton adviser Joel Johnson as head of Kerry’s rapid response team. Johnson cut his teeth as an operative for Sen. Tom Daschle and from the Clinton years is best remembered for being a point man against the National Rifle Association and gun-owner rights.p> SWIFT RECOVERY br> On Tuesday morning,
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